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Series Preview: Ducks’ Special Teams

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Edmonton Oilers v Anaheim Ducks - Game Five Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Power Play

The Ducks are not a team that likes to waste time on the power play. Rather than always setting up a system, they really like to get shots off as fast as they can.

Remember this chart from the forwards preview yesterday?

Courtesy of hockeyviz.com

While this chart tells of 5v5 chances, that red area is exactly on the right side of the ice is exactly where Corey Perry is going to try and laser a shot into the net from. However, on the PP rush, Ryan Getzlaf also likes his chances from that area.

When the Ducks so get set, they’ll run an umberella system similar to St. Louis with, once again, Ryan Getzlaf setting up in that sweet spot on the right side of the ice. Getzlaf runs the power play just like how Vladmir Tarasenko did, looking across the ice to make a stretch pass to the far side. However, also like Tarasenko, Getzlaf isn’t afraid to shoot the puck either.

While the Ducks do run this similar umbrella-style powerlay to the Blues, they aren’t as successful at it, only having converted three of fourteen chances this post-season. If the Predators’ penalty kill sticks to the same plan, they should have more success defending with one less man.

Penalty Kill

The Ducks use a box for their penalty kill and, unlike the Blues, also use the system against umbrella systems.

Another difference between the penalty kill systems of the Ducks and Blues is the level of aggressiveness. While the Blues tried to generate turnovers and always pressured the Predators, the Ducks play a passive collapsing system. They don’t have any issue letting opposing defensemen shoot from the points as long as there aren’t high danger chances in front of the net.

That being said, the Predators have a few more weapons on the point than the Ducks saw with either Edmonton and Calgary. Don’t be surprised if the Ducks make a few tweaks before the puck drop tonight.

Similar to the Blues though is the Ducks’ penchant for mental mistskes.

Here Antoine Vermette bites hard on a shot where he should be more worried about taking away the pass to Letestu. While the potential shot from the middle of the ice is from the high slot, Vermetre has to trust his goalie to see that puck. Instead, by biting on that shot, the Oilers change the shot location quickly and put the puck in the net.

Once again, if they continue to run this collapsing penalty kill against the Predators, I expect the Ducks to struggle heavily. They can’t expect to give P.K. Subban, Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, and Mattias Ekholm all day with the puck and not eventually let a goal in. The Ducks should make adjustments with that in mind.